* Morgan Stanley tops league table and highest fee earner
* Advisory fee revenues rising in Asia Pacific region
* Strong interest remains in Southeast Asian assets
By Denny Thomas
HONG KONG, Dec 13 Asia-Pacific M&A volumes fell
3.3 percent this year, recording the smallest annual tally in
four years with stock market volatility hitting the confidence
On the bright side, according to investment bankers
interviewed by Reuters, the 2013 Asia acquisition arena was
characterized by larger deals and a 13 percent rise in average
fees earned per completed deal, according to Thomson Reuters
M&A specialists in the region expect takeover activity to
improve in 2014 on the hopes that more of Asia's state-owned
enterprises will seek to grow outside their home markets.
"We see a continued trend of larger-sized deals," said Rob
Sivitilli, Asia head of M&A for J.P. Morgan. "Such deals
typically require M&A advice."
Announced Asia-Pacific M&A deals in 2013 totaled $510
billion, according to preliminary data from Thomson Reuters,
recording a third consecutive year of decline.
Mergers and acquisitions are a sign of corporate confidence
and strengthening financial markets. Asia's share of the global
M&A market was about 7 percent in 2000, a figure that rose to 20
percent in 2010 and which has now steadied to between 16-17
percent in the past two years.
Morgan Stanley topped the 2013 league table rankings
for the region, followed by UBS, Goldman Sachs
and J.P. Morgan.
League table standings serve as key marketing material for
banks, although more important is a bank's ability to bring
revenues to the franchise through deal advisory.
M&A advisory fees in Asia, while a fraction of the total
that the United States generates, have been steadily growing,
even with deal volumes slowing, thanks to larger transactions.
Clients are beginning to pay for advice and J.P. Morgan's
Sivitilli said the average fee per deal earned by the bank
jumped 40 percent this year.
Morgan Stanley pocketed $108.3 million from completed deals,
according to Thomson Reuters/Freeman Consulting Co, which
calculates and estimates fees. For Morgan Stanley, that was a
6.3 percent rise from last year.
Goldman Sachs was No.2 with $87.1 million fees, followed by
Citigroup with $80.5 million, the estimated data show.
JPMorgan came in at No.5 with $74.5 million.
Bankers expect more M&A deals with Asian buyers and Asian
targets in 2014 as valuations in the region remain cheap
compared to other parts of the world.
"There continues to be strong cross-border interest in
Southeast Asia assets, especially from financial institutions
and consumer companies abroad, including Japanese corporates,"
said Hsin Yue Yong, Goldman Sachs' head of investment banking
for Southeast Asia.